I don’t know if you know this, but picking out the next big thing in independent eyewear isn’t quite as easy as we let on. As well as knowing what you guys love and what you aren’t so keen on, we need to keep our ears firmly to the ground in the ever changing world of eyewear trends. As far as the latter is concerned, a good place for us to start is at SILMO in Paris, Europe’s largest eyewear optical fair.
Essentially the eyewear equivalent of Disneyland for us lot, SILMO is the home to stands from pretty much all the biggest and up-and-coming names in the optical industry. With it being such a big date in the eyewear calendar, we decided to head their in full force this year with me (Tareq) and three eyewear obsessive members of the Seen team: First timer Lisa, industry vet Neil, and Erika, who will have tagged along with Seen three times this year.
It’s been a couple of weeks since we returned, so, as it was such an inspiring trip, we thought we’d let you know how we got on, what our best bits were, and give you a sneaky peak into what we reckon the eyewear trends of 2019 might turn out to be...
The all important meeting before we hit the show
The best collections...
The strongest launch was Anne et Valentin. It’s always good, to be honest, but this year it was super strong.
“Anne et Valentin, as always, brought styles that are way ahead of the game and gorgeous as well.” - Erika
When we view new launches, we rarely buy into every piece but they hit the perfect mix of design, colour and style and we’ll be excited to have them in stock.
Lounge in style… of course Jacques Marie Mage’s stand had red leather sofas
I think Jacques Marie Mage has got stronger again, too. As a whole, in the high end sector, his next collection could be the best of the best.
Seen head honcho, Tareq, and Jacques Marie Mage's Jerome Mage
The standout frames...
A Jacques Marie Mage sunglass with side shields was definitely one of the stand out frames. It’ll totally remind you of wearing safety glasses in chemistry class, but it’s going to be such a cool style to wear in 2019.
These Mr Leight optical aviators are going to look pretty good on our shelves
“The classics are still the way to go. Staying large in size, the best designers are adding a little edge to elevate it from the ordinary.” - Neil
Garrett Leight, the man himself, is mega excited by his new model Steiner. It’s a strong move away from the round frames that are taking over the world.
Read more about the Steiner and the rest of Garrett Leight's collection, here
Decisions, decisions... The Seen team pick out the top frames from a top notch Garrett Leight collection
The next big things...
Tinted lenses for everyday use are going to be pretty huge in 2019. Not heavily tinted, just a light fashion tint to enhance the frame style and add colour and distinction to your everyday frames.
“I think cat eyes are going to be massive. Hardly surprising for me to choose cat eyes, but honestly the new subtleties of cat are awesome. So excited to have them in store soon.” - Lisa
The queen of the cateye, Lisa in a pair of upcoming Jacques Marie Mage frames
The next big surprises...
Vinylize launched coloured vinyl frames! We’ve got some great styles coming in a lovely blue acetate with matte blue vinyl finish to the front. The matte makes the colour everyday wearable.
“Although the bolder acetates are still going strong, I realised more and more designers have started to work with titanium. Like Anne et Valentin with their fine metal models and even Jacques Marie Mage is including more titanium models in his collection.” - Erika
Theo have updated their aluminium collection with new shapes and some awesome colours. Aluminium is a beautiful material that’s not easy to work with in eyewear but if engineered by the right people, the final product is so, so good.
The new Theo aluminium frames are very special indeed
The next big designer...
We’ve been keeping our eye on a chap called JP for a while now. He’s a French optician who runs a beautiful store in Tel Aviv and he began designing eyewear a few years back as his own brand, Jean Philip Joly. We’ve decided that now is a good time to begin working with him and we can’t wait to launch his collection at Seen very soon. The styles will be bold in colour and design. Exclusively acetate for now. As Lisa said, “They’re very french!”
Lisa and Erika take frames from Jean Philip Joly out for a spin
The best bits...
As well as getting the scoop on what's new in the eyewear world, one of the highlights of SILMO is getting to rub shoulders with some of our favourite designers.
“I met my hero Jerome Mage from Jacques Marie Mage. Anyone that knows me knows I LOVE the collection so to meet the man behind it was an honour. He oozes style and class.” - Neil
As suave and sophisticated as ever... and Jerome Mage doesn't look too bad either!
We were also lucky enough to dine with Bruno and the guys from Theo one evening in the picturesque town of Chantilly. What a treat!
"Seeing as this was my 3rd show, it was so nice to see everyone and catch up on trends, style, what’s new and what everyone thinks the future in optics holds for us independent opticians." - Erika
So what's coming back to Seen?
The good news is that we've already started to receive the new styles from severAL collections. As you read this, new Anne et Valentin will be freshly sitting on the shelves. Dita, Thom Browne, Garrett Leight and Mr Leight have already hit Seen shores too.
And let's just say you'll be seeing loads more stupendous new stuff from all your favourite brands as well as getting introduced to some of your soon-to-be favourite brands too. Be excited.
So what are you waiting for...
If you want to find out more about how we got on at SILMO, see any of the brands and frames we mentioned up close and personal, or maybe want to try a styling meeting with one of our in-house experts, come and say hello at Seen HQ. You can find out how to find us right here.